A week that shapes a lifetime.

Pre Registration is now open for the June 8-14, 2024 Boys State Session.  There is no cost to pre-register. 


Each year since 1935, The Illinois Department of The American Legion has conducted a week long learning experience into the democratic form of government, called Premier Boys State.  Illinois was the first program in the nation. Premier Boys State offers more than 350 young men who attend a session annually, an opportunity to learn first hand the inner workings of a political party, and to apply this  knowledge in actual practice. We don't guarantee that a young man who attends Premier Boys State will grow up to be successful . . . but we'll give you odds.

  • No fee is collected of the registrant.
  • You will receive a receipt of registration.
  • All registrations and fees are assigned to the local American Legion Post.
  • The Post is notified that you have registered.
  • In most cases the Post is in contact with the registrant.


The American Legion Premier Boys State Committee shall promote the operation and continuance of Premier Boys State as a program to develop good  citizens by inspiring the youth of Illinois to take a more active and intelligent interest in the operation of government; and shall participate in all arrangement for the Boys State term.

Boys State Timeline

After Session
Main Recruiting Period
2nd Week June

Registration Open for following year

Identify those kids early and register them for the upcoming session.

Registration is open now. See link above.

Recruit and Promote

September-June - Promote the program.  Discuss the program with school officials, civics class instructors, guidance counselors. Do not wait on them to provide names.  

Recruit in school and through Scouts, your Church, identify individuals through sports standouts, Speech Teams, Band, Plays, musicals, scholastic bowl, etc.

Boys State Session

Citizen attends the week long session at Eastern Illinois University. Experience a week that shapes a lifetime.


Chairman: Christopher H. Benigno (2 Div)

Vice Chairman: John B. Reece, Jr. (2 Div)

Secretary:  Carter Corsello (2 Div)

Executive Director: Christopher H. Benigno (2 Div)

Finance Officer: Wayne Wagner (4 Div)

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2029

  • John B. Reece, Jr.

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2024

  • Wayne V. Madson
  • Charles L. Mueth
  • Jeffrey A. Brown (SAL Liaison)

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2025

  • James Talaska
  • Derrick D. Stinson
  • Michael Vozar (SAL Liaison)

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2028

  • Carter Corsello
  • Jim Vahle

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2026

  • Joseph McCraith, Jr
  • Mac Meade
  • David Fever (SAL Liaison)

*To serve until Fall Meeting 2027

  • Hsienjan Huang
  • Christopher H. Benigno
  • Wayne Wagner